Self-Deception as a Moral Failure

Abstract

In this paper, I defend the view that self-deception is a moral failure. Instead of saying that self-deception is bad because it undermines our moral character or leads to morally deleterious consequences, as has been argued by Butler, Kant, Smith, and others, I argue the distinctive badness of self-deception lies in the tragic relationship that it bears to our own values. On the one hand, self-deception is motivated by what we value. On the other hand, it prevents us from valuing those things properly. I argue that we owe it ourselves to take seriously our own values, by striving to properly value them. This gives us both prudential and moral reasons to avoid self-deception.

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References found in this work

The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Value in Ethics and Economics.Elizabeth Anderson - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
Seeing Through Self-Deception.Annette Barnes - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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